Generally, it is the nature of Canada and the Canadians to be low-key, and that is how the North American nation’s approach has been to development assistance in Nepal.
The first time many Nepalis heard about Nepal and Canada working together was when the Taliban massacred 13 Nepali security personnel guarding the Canadian Embassy in Kabul in 2016.
Although Canada has been involved in development assistance in Nepal for the last 50 years through its aid arm, CIDA, or agencies like CECI and IDRC, most Nepalis do not know much about their work. Even though some of the projects have been criticised for being unsustainable, they have left their mark.
For example, it was Canadian assistance that allowed Nepal’s civil aviation sector to graduate from piston-engined DC-3s to STOL turbo-props, which in turned opened up remote area airfields to air travel even before the roads got there.
Canada provided the assistance for Royal Nepal Airlines to buy de Havilland Twin Otters and train Nepali pilots. Some of these planes are still the workhorses of Nepal’s domestic aviation, and a maintenance hangar built by Canada still stands at Nepalganj airport.